Letter to the editor: Brianna Wills has proven her toughness

Brianna Wills speaks during a forum at The Mill. Monday, Aug. 20, 2018. — photo by Zak Neumann

By Mandi Kowal

As a member and coach of the U.S. National Rowing Team, I have been around some exceptionally mentally and physically tough people. I am voting for Brianna Wills for Iowa City Council because her strength rivals any world-class athlete I have known.

I met Brianna because our children go to the same school. She is the kind of person that, when she sees a system failure or inadequacy, she wants to do something about it. This approach lends itself to Brianna’s community-wide involvement. She has donated hundreds of hours to organizations that advocate for children, education, the disabled and food security.

Brianna’s toughness was put to devastating task when her son Calder was diagnosed with cancer in 2016. Many of you reading this already know how Brianna helped the community cope with her son’s illness and death. Brianna helped Calder’s classmates and their families (and a community of thousands) understand what Calder was going through to mitigate the sense of powerlessness cancer causes. Through his brave two-year struggle, Brianna communicated with us about courage, hope and pain.

Even in her most difficult times, Brianna prioritized the importance of community. As a council member, I have no doubt she will continue to support our community. I am voting for Brianna Wills on Sept. 4 and I encourage you to do the same.